Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Robert Basso

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The purpose of this research project was to gain an understanding of the child's experience living in residential treatment and to explore the child's understanding of treatment and the therapeutic process. Limited information on this topic has been found in the research literature, therefore this study was also an attempt to add qualitatively to the body of knowledge on residential treatment, incorporating the child's perspective. Six children living in a residential treatment centre in Southwestern Ontario were interviewed. Their interviews were audio-taped, transcribed and analyzed using the grounded theory techniques of Strauss and Corbin (1998). Demographic information and treatment goals were gathered from the children's agency files in order to allow for triangulation (Patton, 2002). The findings suggest that the children interviewed for this study developed an understanding of the treatment process over the course of their stay at the treatment centre. It appeared as though the overarching goal for the children was to get out of the treatment centre in order to live with family, whether it be a biological family or a foster family. From their interviews emerged a model that can be used to aid us in understanding what the children experience as they journey through a residential treatment program.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season